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Debt and savings used to combat rising cost of living

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15/05/2008

More than half of retirees are struggling to make ends meet thanks to the rising cost of living, according to research from Engage Mutual Assurance.

The friendly society has reported that 54% of retirees are currently finding it difficult to make ends meet, with 49% of those forced to make cutbacks and 17% simply going without. In addition, 10% of retirees have gone into debt by putting bills on credit, despite 13% previously battling to pay off credit card debt. Other options for financially squeezed retirees included turning to children or other relatives for help (4%) or raiding savings (36%).

The top expenses putting a strain on retirees include heating bills (33%), dentistry/medical treatment (21%), food costs (16%) and clothes (13%).

Karl Elliott, spokesperson for Engage Mutual Assurance said: “With the increased costs of food, fuel and mortgages taking effect, our research shows that those in retirement are becoming increasingly worried about being able to afford their everyday spending. We would always encourage those with money worries to seek financial advice in the first instance. We know that saving little and often today often helps families to prepare for those unexpected financial eventualities.

“By making the most of tax efficient savings opportunities such as ISAs and Child Trust Funds it is possible for families to build up a nest egg, should elderly parents become increasingly dependent on them or for when their children need some financial support to get them started in adult life.”

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